3 Lebanese match officials hauled up by CPIB

SINGAPORE - Three Lebanese match officials assigned to officiate on Wednesday's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup game between Tampines Rovers and East Bengal are now helping the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in an investigation.

The CPIB, which picked up the trio early Wednesday morning, said it could not provide any more information at this stage as investigations are still ongoing.

But it added: "Singapore takes a serious view of corruption. We adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption, and match-fixing of any form is not condoned in Singapore."

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) named the trio as referee Ali Sabbagh (above), and his assistants Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb.

It added that it had alerted the AFC once it was informed that the Lebanese were not available to carry out their duties. Replacement match officials from Malaysia and Thailand were dispatched immediately and sent to Singapore.

The AFC Cup is the second- most prestigious club competition in Asia, after the AFC Champions League.

In last night's game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, S-League champions Tampines were beaten 4-2 by East Bengal, the runners-up in the Indian league.

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